Episode 36 - Startup Bus Florida

play Great Things Tampa Bay

Show Notes

Building a Business is stressful… especially when you have to do it in 3 days ON A BUS!

That is what StartupBus is all about.  I take part in StartupBus Florida and go on the ride of my life.

Episode sponsored by Happiest Doulas.  Save 5% with Promo Code HAPPY5!

Transcript at the bottom of this page!

Startup Bus

Come along on a journey from Tampa, to North Georgia, to Nashville, to Biloxi, and finally to New Orleans.

On this journey, you will hear about the struggle, over the course of three days, in building a business and a working product on a bus… with spotty internet access and one or two unknown smells.

At the final destination, New Orleans, we compete against other Startup Buses from around the country (and even one from Mexico) to decide who has the best startup!

StartupBus is an intense but memorable experience.

Robert Blacklidge was featured previously on episode 26

More information on StartupBus

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Kyle: Hey, everyone, I just wanna let you know before the podcast started that the Great Things Tampa Bay app has been released. So go on your mobile device, just go to your app store and look up Great Things Tampa Bay and it should show up there. If you have trouble finding it there will be a link in the show notes. You can also go to greatthingstv.com/app. That’s greatthingstv.com/app.

Robert: Hey, how’s the going everyone? Super exciting, we’re getting ready to get everybody on the bus and head across the country and create some really amazing products and get people on board and get some incredible traction as we do it.

Kyle: Hi, everybody. This is Kyle Sasser, and this is “Great Things Tampa Bay,” episode 36. And today we’re talking about StartupBus. So I’ll give you the quick rundown. This episode is going to be a little bit different than most because I captured a lot of audio over a few days. To be completely honest I captured more audio on the first day than the remaining two days so I’m going to jump in and narrate some things just kind of fill in the gaps. But basically, StartupBus is a good way to think of it is “Shark Tank” on a bus. So we load up a bunch of people from various cities in the country so, Tampa had a bus, New York had a bus, Mexico, like northern Mexico, they had a bus, there was one coming out of Detroit.

So everyone from these locations around the country load up on a bus and they travel around the country for three days and those three days you have to put together a product and a company. And you know, and that’s not theoretically like you actually have to put a product together someway somehow and get it out there and get some product development and all that good stuff. So as you can imagine trying to do that on a bus with very limited WiFi and you know, not a lot of tools is very challenging but honestly, it was a great experience. If you have any sort of entrepreneurial spirit it’s definitely a great experience. I’m not sure if I would do it again, it was a lot to take in, but it was definitely a lot of fun. I’m glad I went.

So just kinda set the stage here, we all met in Tampa, Florida, down at the Convention Center and basically we all loaded up and then we headed to Orlando. And the pitches started pretty much as soon as we got on the bus and on the interstates. And then probably about the time, we hit Plant City we started having to pitch our product so everyone stood up, gave the pitches for their ideas. And yeah, and then everybody kinda decided on what everybody wanted to work on. So and the team, the bus could split those many teams as they wanted so if everyone liked one idea everybody could pile on one. If everyone liked three or four ideas then you know, you could split the teams and work on it that way. So anyway here’s some audio from that day.

This is Kyle Sasser, it is the morning of April 27th, 2018 and we’re getting ready to board the StartupBus here. I’m here with Robert Blacklidge.

Robert: Hi, how’s the going everyone? Super exciting we’re gettin ready to get everybody on the bus and head across the country and create some really amazing products and get people on board and get some incredible traction as we do it.

Kyle: Yeah, it’s good stuff. So what are we currently doing right now?

Robert: Well, we’re getting everybody together right? A lot of this has to do with a lot of incredible people and when you get people together there’s always that wrangle factor. And you know, Tampa, is incredible traffic is just so amazing so we’ve had two accidents on both directions of 275 this morning making that delay a little bit later than we’d expect but we’ll be getting on the roads here shortly.

Kyle: Yeah, and you know, it’s not too late.

Robert: No, it’s not too bad.

Kyle: Especially how many people are we gonna have on the bus or should we have on the bus?

Robert: About 20 individuals who are here and we’re gonna have a couple surprises on the route, so it’ll be exciting.

Kyle: Pretty exciting so yeah, so getting 20 people together to do anything is obviously a challenge, so yeah. Not unexpected that we’re waiting on a bus here.

Robert: Sounds good I’m super excited. Woo.

Kyle: So I’m here with Tatiana, and she has a pretty interesting pitch. What’s your plan?

Tatiana: My plan is still in the process of being defined but at least for right now, I want to create an app that will allow users in the Tampa Bay area to see what local businesses have to offer as far as specials and their menu prices. And basically just encourage people that are visiting, people that are local that don’t explore that space. And possibly new developers or people moving into town that just recently moved here to find out about what affordable restaurant deals there are.

Kyle: There you go. Sounds interesting. What sort of challenges do you see?

Tatiana: [inaudible 00:05:30]. Currently, I am trying to figure out how to monetize it so that it’s sustainable with all the data storage, etc. But that’s really the biggest issue right now and just kind of trying to refine the idea so that it is something that not just like you wouldn’t be just me using it.

Kyle: Although if you get great deals you know, with the user of one, yourself, not necessarily a bad deal.

Tatiana: It’s true.

Kyle: But you do have like you know, the direct monetization there from where you know, local business owners would possibly be interested in advertising on there or you know something like that.

Tatiana: Yeah, I did think about ads as well as a possibility.

Kyle: Or like I can tell you one other thing, most of the little like neighborhood magazines you see around. So most of those are actually paid placements. So like every feature on a local restaurant or a realtor or anything like that those are usually paid.

Tatiana: Oh, okay.

Kyle: So maybe you know, you could do like a more in-depth review or menu something on there?

Tatiana: Yeah, that’s interesting.

Kyle: Just an idea.

Tatiana: Yeah, no I’ll definitely spin that around in my head.

Kyle: There you go. It’s all about the ideas right?

Tatiana: It is.

Kyle: All right, so we stopped over here at Full Sail over in Orlando, and we’re taking on some more StartupBusees. So it should be exciting, hopefully we can get some more pitches and a little bit more input and all those sorts of things.

Man 1: I rode StartupBus in 2014, for the first time and then last year I was a conductor and this year hopped on as a mentor. It’s a really, really fun time. The best part is just getting to know one another and have a lot of fun. So the first year that I did this, I’m a hyper-competitive person. I’m sure a lot of you are too. And so I was too focused on winning the competition and I just made it way more stressful than it needed to be. And so the most important thing to focus on is to have fun on the bus and to hang out with each other and to help each other. Because you’re all going to need you know, we’re gonna form teams but everyone’s gonna need help from each other and that’s gonna make it the best experience for everyone. And so it’s a great learning experience. You’re gonna be able to start a company in 72 hours while on a bus. It’s going to be a crazy story that you can be able to tell for the rest of your life about what you did on this trip. And then you’ll stay connected with everyone on the bus for the rest of your lives and you’ll make some cool connections and you’ll learn a lot. And some of you might even pursue the business after building it who knows? But the most important thing is to have fun and…

Together: [inaudible 00:08:18].

Man 1: I can’t say it enough. So I’m here to help, I’m here to serve you guys so whatever you guys need from me. I have a company called Party Tutor, it helps college students find local deals and events happening around college campuses. And so I’m kind of specialized in branding and marketing and product development. I’m not a developer myself but. So yeah, I’m here to help and I’m excited that you guys all joined. It’s going to be a blast.

Man 2: I remember judging your pitch idea. I think it was still the same one that you’re doing. It wasn’t like the Venmo for you pay five bucks per month to this fund and then you have your favorite singer you know, shows up, Justin Timberlake, and you just fund that bus the same month.

Man 1: That was Kevin.

Man 2: Oh, that was Kevin’s?

Man 1: Yeah.

Man 2: Oh, all right now never mind.

Man 3: You said, “Never mind.”

Man 2: Never mind. And your idea probably wasn’t that sexy, was it?

Rosemarie: Hello. My name is Rosemarie Morales. A little bit about myself I recently retired from the U.S. Army.

Together: Whoo.

Rosemarie: So I am an Army veteran. I was the healthcare administration officer for 11 years and I retired as a captain and I’ve lead over 230 personnel.

Man 4: Yeah, I’m in. Wow.

Rosemarie: Yeah, so I have master’s in healthcare administration so now that I’m out of the Army I wanted to continue utilizing my healthcare experience. And my business venture is home care, so I’ll be providing non-medical care for the elderly but my target market will be veterans.

So the problem is that a lot of veterans don’t know how to navigate the VA website, the Veterans Affairs website, and know how to apply for these benefits that are out there for them. So what my business will do is that I’ll be with them from beginning to end so what does that include? Is that I will fill out their application for them and I will provide them a no interest loan. So this loan will pay for their care so they can start getting care immediately and not have to wait until the VA approves their care. And then I will also provide 24/7 support so that they can always have somebody that they can ask any questions or anything related to their care. And how will this happen? So I’m gonna have a group of lawyers that specialize in this and then they’re gonna actually fill out the application so it’s almost guaranteed that you’re gonna get your benefits approved. And then I’m also gonna have a call center that I’m gonna hire a virtual call center and they’re the ones that are gonna be into the phone calls 24/7. And that is my business venture.

Together: Whoo.

Kyle: All right, so just had lunch at a Publix over here in Orlando. And trying to fix a little WiFi issue we’re having with the bus which as you might imagine is a little important on a bus full of software developers and internet marketing gurus. So hopefully we got that all wrapped up and we will have some great WiFi we can put together some great products here in the next few days.

All right, so state your name.

Edward: My name is Edward Sanchez.

Kyle: All right, Edward. So Edward’s on my team. Edward, what are we doing here?

Edward: We’re creating an application for golfers so that way they can find a partner that they most connect with. A lot of time, you have golfers who maybe are going into a conference, they’re going to a new state you know, and they don’t know the golf area or have anyone to play with. So with this application, they can actually look up where the golf courses are near them and who is currently playing. And if there’s a group of people that they connect with most that way they can meet up, he or she could meet up with them at the golf course and play a round of golf, you know. And the main thing is have the same similarities that they have so like you know, if I like to gamble while I play golf maybe they like to gamble we can connect with each other. If I like drinking or maybe I’m not a drinker or a social drinker I can find other people who are not other social drinkers but we just have you know, conversations, so.

Kyle: And we thought about adding a political component but I don’t know if that’s gonna make it into the final product.

Edward: Yeah. So I mean, it depends you know, it depends on what you like as a person and with this application what you can do is you know, figure out what your characteristics are. Find other people with those same characteristics and meet up with them. That’s the awesome part of it.

Kyle: All right, so how much of this do we have completed?

Edward: Right, now we’re in the validation phase. We’re looking at some type of questions that we could ask people to kind of validate the idea, see if it works for them. We’re also looking at competitors and determining what the pain points are for other people who are trying to get on those apps and what they’re experiencing. And how we can differentiate from them, maybe we can make something completely different in a way that maybe it makes it easier to use for the user. Or maybe the experience is gonna be a lot better so we’re just differentiating ourselves from the competition is another thing that we’re doing.

Kyle: Yeah, and I can…so my part in this is currently research since I’m familiar with the golfing process and I got to tell you, I put some pretty lackluster selections out there. So what sort of results have we been getting on the research?

Edward: Well, we’ve got a lot of good names. But I’m not sure if we have a lot of good. That’s not even a word. I’m not sure we have many good selections to choose from. A lot of the apps that we’ve already run into, it’s already hard to get on the app, it’s hard to make a profile. I think one of the things that we tried was we created a name just by typing random letters in and it still didn’t work. So finding a U.S-based application that actually works so far is an issue with our competitors and already we can see we can capitalize on.

Kyle: So the competition seems slim.

Edward: The competition does seem slim as of right now.

Kyle: That’s good. That’s good news for Team Link 2 Link, which is our working title.

Edward: Working title, because Link 2 Link is technically taken it was purchased by somebody and it’s on the market for sale for some ridiculous amount of money. So another factor that we’re doing is trying to figure out a good name that we can use that’ll capture that audience as soon as we say it.

Kyle: All right, thanks for the update.

All right, I need your name.

Kim: My name is Kim Mohr.

Kyle: All right, Kim, what are we doing here?

Kim: We are creating the best app ever to help link golfers to like-minded golfers.

Kyle: There you go. So what is your role currently on this team?

Kim: Well, I think I’m part of the creative process.

Kyle: I like it.

Kim: Helping to brand it.

Kyle: Yep, so your expertise is marketing and personality and all that good stuff?

Kim: Yes.

Kyle: All right, perfect. Do you have any ideas that are you working on currently?

Kim: For myself?

Kyle: For the golf app.

Kim: For the golf, well, we were working on the validation questions and just a way to collect information from people to really help them in the best way possible to serve their needs.

Kyle: All right, I love it, thank you.

Tatiana? Sorry, she had her headphones in. Tatiana, right?

Tatiana: Yes.

Kyle: Yes, I got the name right. All right.

Tatiana: All right.

Kyle: Well, I already got your name but state your name again and tell us your role in the team.

Tatiana: I am Tatiana. And I am a developer. I’m currently working on brainstorming a draft one mockup and trying to also combat the issue of the name.

Kyle: All right, yeah, because we don’t…we still don’t have a name you know, the golf space is very populated, so hard to find a good name. What’s your ETA on all that?

Tatiana: Project management is not my strongest suit right now.

Kyle: Okay, do I need to give you a deadline?

Tatiana: I don’t need a deadline but I can’t give you an ETA right now.

Kyle: All right, we’ll come back thank you.

[crosstalk 00:17:02]

Kyle: All right, who wants to be on the podcast?

Man 5: Sure, I can get on the podcast.

Kyle: All right, so this is one of the other teams on the bus here, they’re not the golf app bus.

Man 6: [inaudible 00:17:19] our motto. [inaudible 00:17:20] first.

Together: Straps down.

Kyle: All right, so I just I just needed…

Man 6: Or straps up, straps down.

Kyle: There you go. I just need a name, what you’re working on and your pitch if you wanna give it.

Lance: Yeah, so my name is Lance Robinson. We are creating a product called dadSAK and what the product is effectively it’s a diaper bag for dads with a baby carrier built into the backpack. So when you’re not actually using the baby carrier, you can pack it away into the pack but also still use all the functionality of the diaper bag itself and still carry everything. Right now we’re working on some taglines and figuring out how we’re gonna blow it out on social media.

Kyle: Oh, wait I thought you had the taglines to end all taglines there.

Lance: We do have some taglines. We got, you know, straps down, sack up, dadSAK.

Kyle: I gotta say straps up, sack down.

Lance: Straps down, sack up. We got the sack situation situated over here.

Kyle: There you go, there’s, yeah there’s pretty of men just putting their heads together and I do wanna point out this is an all-male team right?

Lance: Yeah, it’s a dad and a couple of future dads.

Kyle: Yeah, so all right, cool. Any big plans in the next few miles?

Vanel: Launch a Kickstarter campaign on Indiegogo.

Kyle: Ops, sorry let me get your name first.

Vanel: My name is Vanel Marc. And we are launching a Kickstarter campaign this weekend on Indiegogo.

Kyle: There you go. So if you’re looking for a dadSAK there you go. Anything else you wanna add?

Vanel: No, just get your dadSAK at D-A-D S-A-K.

Kyle: Yep, and much shock all around that URL was available, so congratulations.

Vanel: Thank you.

Lance: If anyone’s in the market for a gift for Father’s Day it’s definitely a good Father’s Day gift. Father’s Day is right around the corner. Go to the www.dadsak.com and this is not a gag gift, this is a real gift. Dadsak.com.

Kyle: There you go. Thanks, fellas.

Man 7: I’m come up with the good, like…

Man 8: What’s that?

Woman 1: Internet keeps going out.

Man 9: Do you want a copy of the file?

Man 8: Yeah.

Man 9: Yeah, I’ll give it to you I’ll probably [inaudibe 00:19:52].

Man 10: Are you guys looking to go to [inaudible 00:19:55]?

Kyle: All right, who wants to talk back here who’s in charge? Rich, I need your name and what you’re doing.

Richard: What do you want? Sorry, say again?

Kyle: So I’m interviewing all the teams and just getting names and what they are doing.

Richard: My name is Richard Kim. And I’m working on PolitiTrust. We basically…we bring more transparency and trust to political elections by providing data on your politicians. For example, we provide data such as a politician’s biggest donors and the stances that they take on bills and legislation.

Kyle: All right. Perfect. Anything that prompted this or what prompted you to solve this problem?

Richard: What prompted me to try to solve this problem? In my day job, we have a couple of clients that are politicians and I just like…

Kyle: To be unnamed.

Richard: Yeah, to be unnamed. And just like I wanted to… I’ve always been frustrated with, yeah, I’ve always been frustrated by how…the lack of transparency that the political processes had.

And especially after looking at some of the clients that we work with. And the thing with Mark Zuckerberg, the Senate hearing. It’s very clear that some people need to move out and some new people need to come in. And you know, I think everyone has like…it’s just not me, like everyone has this lack of trust with politicians. And people wanna learn more about them and make informed decisions and be okay with those decisions.

Kyle: So mainly the focus is just on facts more than like filtering through news organizations or other groups and things like that right?

Richard: Right, so like I mean, basically, if you’re listening to this it’s… Ask yourself, okay like the last five people that you voted for. Do you know whether they voted for or against certain bills or legislation?

Yeah, you might have voted for them because of their campaign and you believed in the same ideals that they were talking about. But do you 100% know whether they walk the talk? Do you know who their biggest donors are?

Kyle: So the answer to that is usually no. Not walk the walk.

Richard: So it’s like if it’s no, you know, how do you make sure that they’re kept accountable right? And if you put this data openly and it’s for everyone to see you know, it’s a lot easier to find out who’s being real and who’s not.

Kyle: All right, I like it. Is there any…do you have like a website registered or anything like that yet?

Richard: We just bought polititrust.com

Kyle: There you go, that’s great. Congratulations.

Richard: Thank you. Thank you.

Kyle: Yep, all right, thanks, guys.

All right, so we are off the bus. I’m here with…

Jahtia: Jahtia [SP].

Kyle: Jahtia, right? All right, Jahtia, what do you think of the experience so far?

Jahtia: It is amazing, being able to connect and create with a bus full of just dynamic entrepreneurs and developers and design it’s a truly amazing experience.

Kyle: All right, which team are you on?

Jahtia: I am on PolitiTrust.

Kyle: PolitiTrust.

Jahtia: Yeah.

Kyle: The back of the bus.

Jahtia: The back of the bus.

Kyle: All right, how’s the going back there are you all right?

Jahtia: It’s going well. We have worked on our logo. We just developed our website. We’re now connecting our domain to our website, we’re getting ready to go live. And we are working on contacting our influencers and getting our marketing strategy down.

Kyle: Scale of one to no chance in hell, how likely is it for you all to have a working product tomorrow?

Jahtia: One. We’re gonna get it done.

Kyle: All right, I like it.

Jahtia: [inaudible 00:24:14] working model by tonight.

Kyle: I like it. I like the confidence.

All right, name.

Walter: Walter Matthews.

Kyle: All right, Walter, what team are you on?

Walter: I am on…I just totally blanked, Team dadSAK.

Kyle: The dadSAK. Yeah, definitely the fun team to be on right?

Walter: We’re trying to be. I think our product will be fun.

Kyle: So you all are actually doing like product development and prototyping on the bus right?

Walter: Absolutely. So we’ve got a guy that actually makes backpacks for a living and we presented an idea to him, the light in his mind just went off of what we could possibly make. So we were actually in the process of prototyping an actual combination, it’s kind of a surprise but a backpack baby carrier and we hopefully will have that prototype done later this evening. Hopefully by tonight.

Kyle: Wow. All right, so yes, that’s very short time because that was we literally stopped at Wal-Mart to buy supplies what like? Two hours ago, something like that.

Walter: Absolutely, we were scrambling about we all went to different sections and we found all the products and we brought them together on the bus.

Kyle: Well, that’s good. So what’s the slogan?

Walter: I just totally blank…what is it, strap up, sak down? Or strap down, sak up. There we go.

Kyle: All right, what’s your name?

Barrack: Barrack Qunberry [SP].

Kyle: All right, Barrack like the army barracks?

Barrack: Yeah.

Kyle: I remember and so what do you think about the group? Are we too wild?

Barrack: No, no not at all. Not at all. I’ve had some very wild groups and this one is tame by comparison.

Kyle: All right. What’s the wildest group you ever had? And they will never hear this so.

Barrack: It’s a group that I have from South Florida, they were a Portuguese group going up to New York, and Canada to tour and they were very wild, very loud.

Kyle: They were having some fun?

Barrack: Yes, they were having a lot of fun.

Kyle: So were they younger or older?

Barrack: They were mixed in age but they were probably middle age, anywhere from 20 to 40.

Kyle: Okay, all right, so that’s not bad. For some reason I always think…like everyone thinks that the young kids or the party hounds but from what I’ve seen it’s the 40 to 60-year-olds that can really get it, so.

Barrack: You must…some of my senior groups could be pretty wild at times.

Kyle: That’s good stuff. Hey, thanks for driving us around, we really appreciate it.

Barrack: Oh, you’re welcome. It’s a pleasure.

Kyle: So that pretty much wraps up day one. We ended up, up in Gainesville, Georgia, which you know, it’s a pretty good haul. We went from Tampa, to Orlando, and then north up through Georgia, all the way to north Georgia. And stayed in some cabins, was a pretty enjoyable place to stay, very beautiful, lots of nice scenery. And yeah, wake up bright and early the next morning and we headed over to…had some breakfast and then we headed up to Nashville. And Nashville, we met with some of the other…we actually met with another bus and then we stood in front of a panel of judges and pitched all of the business ideas. Which you know, with 24 hours’ practice and you know, refinement of the process and the products it went about as well as you can expect. So here’s a little bit of audio from day two.

So it’s day two of StartupBus. We have arrived in beautiful Nashville, Tennessee. How’s it going today?

Man 10: It’s awesome today. I mean, we’ve had a kind of a rough start this morning, we all were working pretty diligently on the bus but we had problems with our WiFi. So we didn’t get a chance to move as forward or get as ahead of what we want to do. But we’re slowly making it, the time back up, we’re working on our pitches, we have to memorize our pitches. So far, all in all we’re doing a good job and moving forward.

Kyle: Did we get some good feedback on the surveys?

Man 10: I thought we got some great feedback on the surveys. The people that did take it, over half of them were having issues that we considered were pain points. So we had to pivot our pitch just a little bit and readjust the questions that were stated in our pitch. But overall it was a successful run of our survey. And we had to do it again so that way we can get some additional feedback.

Kyle: All right, perfect. Anything that you’re looking forward to working on for the rest of day?

Tatiana: Yes, I plan and will execute the completion of the mockup and have everything ready and start working on the actual code for the prototype. So hopefully I can get both ready by the time the competition starts, but for sure the mockups will be done today for our prototype.

Kyle: Perfect. And what do you think of the mountains?

Tatiana: The mountains where amazing this is actually my first time being in this area and it’s my first time seeing mountains of that size. The first time that I saw mountains were the mountains of Florida, which are hills compared to that. So that was definitely a once in a lifetime change kind of.

Kyle: No, not once in a lifetime, you’re gonna get back up here.

Tatiana: Yeah, but definitely something new that…I meant life changing.

Kyle: All right, good well, we’re gonna get to work we’re here at 8th Street or something like that here in Nashville, so we got work to do so I gotta bow out.

Say your name and are you on a bus or?

Stefanie: Yes. Hi. My name is Stefanie Huskins [SP]. I’m actually on the Dallas bus heading to New Orleans. And we had this great chance to interact with the Florida bus. And my favorite part of it was definitely Buddy Bunker. I’m really excited because my husband and I, we have this problem all the time where it’s very difficult to get a group together to go golfing on the weekends. Or if you just have a random you know, Friday afternoon off it’s hard to find people, sometimes we don’t even wanna golf together. So this is great I mean, I absolutely we will both sign up for sure.

Kyle: Yeah. And just like from a personal and team perspective we appreciate this very much because you know, we kinda got a little we kinda got a little shade up there from the panel.

Stefanie: It was definitely not a room of golfers like at all, you could tell just from their comments. And when he was like, “You should say you’re trying to get on the green and two on a par three.” And I was like, “You bogeyed,” in that case that’s not a golfer, yeah.

Kyle: Thank you so much. So our actual pitch up in Nashville didn’t go terribly well honestly. We got kinda raked over the coals a little bit, not a lot of golfers in the Nashville room. But you know, we did have one person come up to us and tell us it was a great idea so you know, that kinda made it all worthwhile. After Nashville, we turned the bus right back around and headed back to Gainesville, Georgia. And went through personally my favorite drive from Chattanooga, over to Blue Ridge, and then from Blue Ridge, down through I forget the name of that road there.

Anyway, it’s tremendously curvy and we were in this 50 some-odd foot coach and everyone was basically about to lose their lunch. But you know, I was sitting up front and center I’m enjoying myself because hey, I love the mountains. So we get back to the cabin and you know, I fall asleep because I’m old and wake up the next morning. And yeah, Tatiana, our developer she had stayed up all night trying to bang this out with not a lot of success. And then we also, the CEO of StartupBus also stopped by so I was able to get some time with her and get some questions answered and all that good stuff so. Let’s roll that audio.

All right, we’re here, this is the start of day three, StartupBus. Give us a run through of the last six or eight hours Tatiana.

Tatiana: For the last six to eight hours I have been awake.

Kyle: What have you been doing?

Tatiana: I have been chugging Red Bull and so I’m dizzy in the face or head or yeah, dizzy. I’m a developer. So I am doing things to make our web app work because I was under the impression that I could do a prototype for the pitch and be fine. And then that was the morning so like okay, cool. Because before then I was going to build the application but I was like, “Hm, what’s the functionality going to look like?” I’m having issues in making this a reasonable request. I’m dizzy.

Kyle: You should probably not drink so many Red Bulls.

Tatiana: I mean, I did ask on the bus what’s like the okay limit, lethal dose of like cans of Red Bull? Because I’m like according to Kim who’s like all holistic and stuff she’s like, “You know, it’s all sugar or some shit.” And I’m like, “No wonder I love it, it’s fucking amazing, it’s the only one I really love.”

Kyle: Yeah, it’s kind of like turmeric I think, or not turmeric that’s a spice. It’s got some stuff in it.

Tatiana: So I was just like, “Huh, maybe I shouldn’t chug so many,” but in colleges it’s like the Red Bull girls bring free wonderful tiny drinks.

Kyle: Well, in college you do a lot of things that probably aren’t good for you long term so.

Tatiana: Yeah, like drink apple juice on a daily basis, kinda stop doing that, that’s awesome. And so I ran into issues overnight and then…

Kyle: Did you have WiFi?

Tatiana: I had WiFi in the room the first night. It was amazing. Took granted of that, took advantage…wait, took it for granted a little bit. And no, I didn’t I used it. Anyway so the point being I’m rambling. I’m sorry, I’m tired, heads up.

Kyle: All right, so what are we doing right now? What are we doing right now?

Tatiana: So I found out at night end of the day that I need to actually make the application so it’s like, “Fine, fuck it, I’ll just stay up 24, whatever, get it done knocked out execution style.” Then I got to the cabin and there’s no fucking WiFi. So there’s a fucking mess I’m having to deal with right now because I have been doing mockups at night. So I was talking with other busprenuers and 6:00 a.m. is when I started working on this and I was delightfully reminded to keep it simple. Which is a very good thing advice because I am more of a, not perfectionist but I I would like it to look good. This is my extending of my being I created.

Kyle: Build the house before you worry about what color you’re gonna paint it.

Tatiana: Yeah, that analogy still isn’t catching. So I am…this is the landing page, so woo for that because I wasn’t sure if I did a deadline. I learned from you when you kept bugging me with stupid deadlines and you were like, “You don’t have to it for yourself,” I was like, “You’re right.” So I created a deadline, I started at six I was like, “I’m gonna fucking finish this landing page before nine.” And if I do that then maybe I can sleep on the bus for a little bit like at 10:00 or something like that. And so I did it.

Kyle: Because I was gonna ask you, it’s like what’s the goals for the day?

Tatiana: To get the whole fucking app done, like what do you mean?

Kyle: By what time?

Tatiana: I can’t answer your, like, Jedi mind trick because it’s dependent on the internet, is dependent on my understanding of this SDK. I’ve never dealt with SDKs before, this will be the first time. I’m sure I’ll get it but I can’t give you a timeframe.

Kyle: Goals are dreams with a deadline.

Tatiana: Listen, I’m trying to work.

Kyle: All right, thanks.

Tatiana: Those are the goals for the day.

Kyle: Thanks, Tatiana.

Man 12: I think it’s been every bus is a running… I mean, that’s the MVP essentially. Every bus is working really hard on their products. Like I went on two different buses so far to see what’s going on. I mean, I have tears in my eyes just seeing like everybody working really hard, like the progress they’ve been making the past two days has been phenomenal.

Kyle: Awesome. Any big obstacles or anything we’ve…that any of the other buses have had to overcome?

Man 12: Well, I mean, it’s a road trip. There’s always adventure then, there’s always a lot of moving parts, things that aren’t expected. So we had to do a couple contingencies like you know, buses can break down. And it did you know.

Kyle: Never a good feeling.

Man 12: WiFi is always spotty you know, highway WiFi, it’s good to have your own hotspot for that reason.

Kyle: It is. It is. I’ve been leveraging my phone extensively with the team I’ve been working with. Any goals or things you’d like to see happen between here and arriving in New Orleans?

Man 12: Yeah, so StartupBus is not like an ordinary hackathon or startup competition. Our goal really is that we want everybody to be transformed by the end of the competition and to do so we set a really high goal of launching a working product by the end of this bus journey. And everybody is really pushing hard to just common and go and I realize how this common goal is uniting everybody together. Every bus is really diverse this year so you have like, you have a whole bus of like you know, Muslim, Jewish, Amish people working in one team. You know, you have like women, men you know, trans people, like gender non-conforming people all working in one team. You know, like everybody got to know each other and realize that as long as they all working under one common goal anything can happen.

Kyle: Yeah, and I know so the project that we’re working on is a golfing match up app for people who like to play golf. And pretty much everyone on the team has never played golf before but they love the idea and they were looking forward to working on it so.

Man 12: Nice, they get to talk to a lot of people who play golf.

Kyle: Yeah. So any…

Man 12: Who might also be investors so.

Kyle: Yes, you know, go where the money is right?

Man 12: Yeah.

Kyle: Do you have any like longer-term goals that you wanna hit like long-term visions or anything like that? And you can take a minute. I have an editor that takes care of all that.

Man 12: We actually hit a lot of our goals this year so we are very proud about that. We have our first ever Detroit bus and also the first-ever Texas bus. So we’re reaching out to a lot of new communities not just in the coastal silicon cities but also like in the center part of America. And we bridge them together and we’re very proud of that.

Kyle: How many buses are there in total?

Robert: So there are nine buses. So first of all does there also the…

Man 13: [inaudible 00:39:24] had.

Man 12: Nine, yeah, nine bus route so it’s definitely one of the highest we ever had. We also have the first ever women and TGNC and blockchain bus so that’s really cool. So it’s like all women and also like GNC people and also yeah, they’re all working on blockchain projects together so that’s one of our number one routes this year, they’re the star.

Kyle: Yeah, and I have…their social media presence is pretty good because they’ve been showing up in my Instagram feed and stuff like that. So they’ve been doing a good job on their marketing.

Man 12: Oh, yeah, and then you can see them doing some of the craziest things and also all the cool things on the road trips you know.

Kyle: Yeah, I saw they were doing yoga outside the bus was the Instagram picture I saw this morning so.

Man 12: Well, they’re pushing the bus.

Kyle: Hey, adapt and overcome right?

Man 12: Yeah.

Kyle: All right, thank you so much.

Man 12: Thank you very much.

Kyle: So pretty much day three after we left Georgia, we just headed southwest across Alabama, all the way down to well beautiful Biloxi. You know, I’m smiling you know, I mean, it’s Biloxi, they have the big ass casinos there I mean, and it is what it is. So we you know, checked in the hotel room there and basically just walked across to the casinos. And yeah, got some…if you’re asking if I gambled the answer is no, I don’t gamble. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with gambling it’s just not something I enjoy doing. Thereweare some other folks that, of course, you know, went in and you know, what I don’t know even know what you would do there, throw the dice around or something. Mainly I just went to the buffet which was mediocre at best. So I can’t really recommend Biloxi for a vacation unless you know, you really love gambling.

So anyway that’s day three. Day four we got on the bus and we moseyed on over to New Orleans, which was our final destination. And that first day we basically, we arrived there pretty early. The trip from Biloxi to New Orleans, is not that long. So we went there, had a little issue you know, sorting out my hotel room but that’s all right, it all got sorted. And all of the buses from around the country converged in New Orleans, and basically took over the Hotel Indigo there. The lobby was entirely packed, there’s probably like 200 people there. It was nuts. So I got the hotel room all sorted out and that night we went to one of the incubator startup places in New Orleans.

And yeah, basically every single team got up there and pitched. So I had a little bit of issue with it because that was the only thing going on there so basically you sat there for you know, an hour or two just listening to these unpolished pitches and business ideas. And you know, some of them were pretty good. Mostly you know, you kinda heard it on the bus before if you know what I mean. I do kinda wish that they had some breakout sessions or something like that where you know, if you wanted to you can sit and listen to all of the pitches. But you know, if you actually wanted to learn something about you know, like business start-up or raising capital or something like that like they have like a little class over here. So you don’t have to sit there and just get you know, bored out of your mind. But you know, it’s still a great idea so you probably wondering how our team did.

We didn’t make it past the first day of…we didn’t make it past this initial pitch session at the final destination here. And neither did the PolitiTrust, they also got bounced. But DadSAK as I’m sure you can imagine made it through.

And yeah, so there was actually two parts to this so there was the initial pitch. Which is the whole team got up there and they picked one person at random to do the full pitch. And then they picked you know, whoever was the best pitcher could give the pitch and then you answer some questions from the panel. And then, after all, that was done which only took like two or three minutes. After all that was done, you would actually go over to the product evaluation panel where they would actually look at your product and you know, give you a thumbs up or thumbs down. DadSAK they actually had a full physical product which is nuts. They assembled it in day one. And they had it mostly assembled and you know, the catch phrase is pretty catchy and pretty engaging.

So yes, they made it past the first day and they actually came in second which yeah, definitely great work guys. And I do keep in contact with everybody on Facebook, and also the GroupMe thing. So if you all are listening to podcast episode there’s a lot of fun guys and don’t be strangers, send me some messages or something, so. Anyway like I said if you like being an entrepreneur, if you’ve been thinking about being an entrepreneur it’s a great boot camp to know what it takes to get stuff done. I’ve started up two or three businesses in my day and it’s definitely a good preparation for what’s actually required. Would I do it again? Probably not. I’m almost 40 years old and that was a little you know, by day two I’m like, “Oh, man all right, well, like you know, where’s the good food. I’m tired of looking at truck stops here.”

Anyway, I’m going to put links to StartupBus here and the show notes. So if you’d like to sign up for next year or keep track of what they’re doing just go to the show notes and check them out. Other than that it was a lot of fun and I still think Buddy Bunker is a great idea and I have been kicking it around in my head. I know there are some rapid prototyping apps that are out there now so yeah, you might see it come out soon. That’s all I’m saying.

Yeah, and if you have any questions about StartupBus or anything just send me a message, hello@greatthingstb.com.

And now here is your fact. Did you know that the sweaters that Mr. Rogers wore on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” were actually knitted by his own mother?

Today’s episode is brought to you by Happiest Doulas. Hospital childbirth classes teach you how to be a good patient for them. Here in Tampa, the Happiest Doulas is an independently owned agency preparing soon to be parents with safe strategies for labor and delivery at the hospital. With a class taught by the Happiest Doulas, you’ll learn how to advocate for yourself to get evidence-based care and reduce your C-section risk. Speaking of, have you checked the C-section rate at your hospital yet? Learn insider tips to access all available options for your baby’s birthday and how to improve your overall satisfaction with the labor experience. Reserve your seats today in a group childbirth class or schedule a private in-home lesson to know what to expect on labor day. Save 5% off any class or in-home session with the code “happy five” at happiestduals.com. Hurry, demand is high and space is limited. Register now at happiestdoulas.com. That’s Happiest Doulas D-O-U-L-A-S to save 5% off the fee of any newborn care class, private prenatal lesson or group series. Again that promo code is happy five, H-A-P-P-Y five. The Happiest Doulas, an experience of a lifetime. And we will have links to that as well as the promo code in the show notes.

All right, so again my name is Kyle Sasser, and this is “Great Things Tampa Bay.” I am also a local realtor and Tampa Bay native. If you would like to find your own great place in Tampa Bay to live in that is I’d love to help you. You can reach me at Kyle, K-Y-L-E @sassergroup.com, S-A-S-S-E-R G-R-O-U-P.com and I do work both sides of the Bay. I have lived from Plant City, to Tampa, to Brandon, to St. Petersburg. So I am happy to help you with your home all across the Tampa Bay area. So I also have a Great Things Tampa Bay app so you can go on your app store or Google Play, Apple iTunes and there is a Great Things Tampa Bay app there you can listen to all the episodes we also have a handy map that shows you the closest great thing in Tampa Bay, to you which is a lot of fun.

We are also doing events out about the Tampa Bay area, we do have some canoe and kayak trips coming up. And we will probably be doing you know, some fruit picking in other fun things around the Tampa Bay area so be sure to check the website or the app for those and sign up on the app. So they’re playing us out we do have some music from Criss Starr and this is “Early Morning.”


And she’s a real fine lady,
She’s a sexy kinda lady,
And I’m gonna take my time
Cause she’s gonna blow my mind,
With this love, early morning!
And she’s a real fine lady,
She’s a sexy kinda crazy (yeah)
And I’m gonna make her mine,
Cause she’s gonna blow my mind
Making love, early morning!

And she, wants to make love to me,
And I want to make sweet love to you
Oooh tell me that it feels so good!
Just being in love,
With you and only you.

And she’s a real fine lady,
She’s a sexy kinda lady,
And I’m gonna take my time
Cause she’s gonna blow my mind,
Making love, early morning!
And she’s a real fine lady,
She’s a sexy kinda crazy (yeah)
And I’m gonna make her mine,
Cause she’s gonna blow my mind
Making love, early morning!

And she wants to make love to me,
And I want to make sweet love to you
Oooh tell me that this feels so good!
Just being in love,
With you and only you.

And she’s a real fine lady,
Hey, baby how you doing
You wanna dance? You’re single tonight?
I’m looking for somebody that we can go out dancing

Cause she’s gonna blow my mind
You looking real fine baby
Won’t you come on, dance with me
We gonna two step
We on get our two-step on baby

With this love, early morning.
Step to the right spin around and we gonna bring it down tonight
And she’s a sexy kinda lady,
And I’m gonna take my time,
Spin around spin to the right spin around and bring it down tonight

Cause she’s gonna blow my mind
Making love, early morning!
And she wants to make love to me,
And I want to make sweet love to you
Oooh tell me that this feels so good!
Just being in love,
With you and only you.